BOZEMAN, Mont. – It's silly, but it's no joke. Two Belgrade women are collecting Silly String to send to soldiers in Iraq, who use the product to reveal trip wires.
Margo Kirchhoff and Ellie Traucht already have six cases of Silly String ready to be sent overseas to American troops in harm's way.
"It has military uses," Kirchhoff said from her home in Belgrade. "This is something that could help save lives."
Soldiers in Iraq and other overseas danger areas have found that Silly String is handy for revealing trip wires. A liquid foam that becomes solid after being sprayed from an aerosol can, Silly String can be sprayed ahead of advancing soldiers and will hang from wires that might be too thin for the eye to see. It's light enough that it won't set off the trap and bright enough to be seen in darkened rooms.
As much as 400 feet or more of the string is condensed into a single can.
The maker of the Silly String brand, Just For Kicks Inc. of Watertown, N.Y., has donated cans and has offered discounts for civic groups that buy the product in bulk, said Rob Oram, the company's product marketing manager.
Traucht said gathering the Silly String to ship to the troops allows her to stay involved.
"I wasn't doing anything to help in the war. I used to give blood, but I can't do that anymore, so I do this," she said.
Oddly enough, Traucht has never used a can of Silly String and refuses to use one now.
"If you are buying it for a good cause, you don't want to waste it," she said.
Kirchhoff and Traucht are members of First Lutheran Congregation in Bozeman and are using the church as a drop-off point for people who want to give cans or money that can be used to buy Silly String on their behalf. They hope to send their first batch of string by the end of the month.